Straight Talk with Norton Sound
Inflow Performance Review Series
What is Straight Talk Series?
At Inflow, we’re always trying to set the bar higher for ourselves. That’s why we’ve developed a questionnaire to review with our customers – to make sure we are going above and beyond for them. We already have our live and unfiltered customer happiness metrics on our website but we thought, why not share these more in-depth views of what it’s like to work with Inflow? The Inflow performance review series will give you exactly that – find out what it’s like to work with us, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Norton Sound is a hospital with 13 clinics in the rural Alaska. We recently spoke with them to discuss how our work with them for the past year has gone. Based on our conversation with them, we were able to review the needs of both a remote location and of an emergent service provider. It’s a bit of a double whammy when it comes to the need for speed, but it’s like many of our clients, communication needs are often variable to every business and service.
What were the major reasons you were looking for a new company to support your ShoreTel system?
Responsiveness was number one. We’re out in the middle of nowhere and getting vendors to understand
that we’re a hospital is number one so everything is urgent, and getting the support we need for replacing
equipment and things like that. We had a hard time getting our vendors, (or our previous vendor in particular) to be responsive to us in a timely manner. We understand things take time but we still need the communication, and I think that was a big factor – lack of communication. And with Inflow, we have plenty of communication – we can get a hold of you guys when we need you and you respond to our requests and our questions almost
immediately. That’s real refreshing and it’s what we expected.
How was the transition over to Inflow?
The transition was pretty painless. We switched from a partner that really dropped the ball where partnership
is concerned. We came over with high expectations of Inflow and you met those expectations right from the
get-go. So we were pleased with that.
How did you learn about Inflow Communications?
Somehow I received an email about your online training for ShoreTel. I attended a training session online and it was extremely overwhelming. Somebody called me to ask what I thought of it, and I told them it went really fast – this was before I had any other ShoreTel training. So we started talking about it. Then we started having problems with our previous vendor and I went, “hey, I know somebody” and brought Inflow into the loop.
The online training thing works really well. I liked it.
Since moving your ShoreTel support to Inflow, what major fixes or enhancements have they helped you make?
As far as the server and things like that, I’m not involved. But I know things are running real smoothly.
Have you learned anything new about your system? If so, what?
- Both my colleague and I myself had both taken the ShoreTel training – we took the training course to get the certificate. It was a basic course about how to do the server, etc. So we weren’t in need of that from Inflow directly.
How has Inflow support been despite not having a local office to your area?
In comparison, it’s been great. We’re getting everything that we need – we can do it via video. Our previous vendor would have people fly up here and put information up on our big screen and talk us to death. Whereas we can watch the videos that you guys have on your website, at our leisure, and we don’t end up falling asleep halfway through the lecture.
It’s great – It’s working out just fine.
Was there any hesitation working with someone out of state?
It’s the nature of the beast when you’re out in rural Alaska. It hasn’t been a downfall at all. Number one because we’re used to it, but number two you guys have stepped up and accommodated when we’ve needed you to. So it’s status quo.
Now that you’ve been with Inflow for a while, have there been any negative experiences?
We’ve had some challenges in the work order arena. Most recently, we had non connects going to one specific
extension on our ShoreTel system and, after getting the local exchange carrier involved with Inflow, it turned out that calls were being routed to a particular channel on the PRI and failing. My disappointment came in where I had opened the ticket and called and worked with a young man which was perfectly fine. He did great, he was communicative and he left it to me when I got the local phone company involved, to reach back out to Inflow for combined assistance. By the time I got the local phone company involved it was a couple of days, and apparently the person I was working with at Inflow had been out or was out and ended up working with someone else. My disappointment came in that I had called him, which I’m supposed to do when it’s an urgent issue, and he took over the ticket and we were emailing back and forth and then all the sudden, it just stopped. He didn’t respond to me, didn’t answer emails. I had to call back again and he told me if it was urgent, I should’ve called. I explained to him that I had called and I shouldn’t call every day on an ongoing ticket just to express there needs to be a sense of urgency.
Up until last week, that was the first problem I’ve had. At the end, everything got fixed, which was great but that was just a little disappointing; a bump in the road.
Thank you for making us aware. It’s great to hear positive things but it’s also great to hear the negative things that we can improve – something we can address or fix. We’ve made some changes on a couple of things because of the type of issue that you had. We’ve had situations where we have an install tech that might start a support ticket and work with you but then, the tech is called out on an install for a week, so tickets would get slow responses which was not good for us or for customers like you. Today we’ve separated those roles, we have some implementation technicians and support representatives who answer questions all day long. The other change we did was to rely a little less on email. If something becomes urgent, we need to call back out to you.
How does Inflow compare to your other technology vendors?
Inflow would be tied for first. You’d tie with one of my equipment vendors out of Arizona.
Why do you rank us so high despite of what happened?
99% of it is the responsiveness and the sense of urgency I get from you guys.
Anything we could do to improve besides last week’s issue?
That’s a good question. I can’t come up with anything off top of head. If anything that I can think of that might be a problem at some point, it’s getting equipment up to us but so far that hasn’t been a problem. We’ve gotten the equipment we need in a timely manner – if there was any confusion about as to whether or not we got something, it was rectified in a timely manner.
We looked at other vendors. That would not have worked out for us here because that’s the thing where you call in and sit on hold for an hour and half to talk to someone who tells you you have to talk to someone else.
A specific vendor that we looked, would’ve resulted in them being a go-between with us and ShoreTel. They would refer us to ShoreTel for things they didn’t know. I like the fact that you guys don’t send me to ShoreTel for anything – I don’t have to talk to them.
Inflow is #1 Shoretel Support Provider in the Nation
If you’re looking for some accurate, user reviews of what it’s like working with Inflow, then keep up with our series as we talk with more clients in the coming blog posts.